A bus carrying at least 55 pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of southern India plunged off a road on Tuesday, killing at least 43 people and injuring several others, according to officials.

The driver lost control as he tried to avoid another bus on the crowded road leading from the popular Anjaneya Swamy temple in Telangana state, Narendar, a local official, told AP news agency.

An investigation has been ordered into the cause of the accident, the official, who uses only one name, said.

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Television footage showed residents carrying the injured up to a hill after pulling them out of the mangled bus. The injured were taken to local hospitals in Jagtiyal district.

TV network NDTV quoted witnesses as saying the driver was speeding and lost control of the vehicle.

Accidents on Indian roads claim the lives of more than 150,000 people each year, with most accidents blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

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On July 28, a bus carrying university workers plunged off a mountain road into a valley in western India, killing 33 people.

That vehicle was taking staff from the Dapoli Agriculture University for a picnic at a popular hill station in the western state of Maharashtra.

The same month, 48 people were killed and many others badly injured in the north of the country when an overcrowded bus hurtled into a gorge in the Himalayan foothills

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